Watch CBS News

Tom Hanks surprises Arlington shop with autographed typewriter

Actor Tom Hanks donates typewriter to Arlington shop
Actor Tom Hanks donates typewriter to Arlington shop 02:09

ARLINGTON - A shop in Arlington got a big surprise in the mail from actor Tom Hanks -- an autographed typewriter. 

In a Facebook post, Cambridge Typewriter Co., Inc. said they received a box from California and assumed it was a repair. Instead, it was a typewriter gifted from Hanks himself. 

Hanks also included a typewritten letter, explaining he was trying to declutter his typewriter collection. In the letter, Hanks said he hoped the shop could give the typewriter a "fuller, newer life of use." 

Shop owner Tom Furrier pecked away on his new arrival Wednesday, surrounded by hundreds of typewriters awaiting repair.

In a way it was routine when the German-made, Olympia SM4 from the early 60's showed up via FedEx Tuesday, until the shop owner noted it was signed by Hanks.

"It was very surreal," Furrier said. "I was in shock the whole afternoon." 

We got a wonderful surprise in the mail today! FedEx dropped off a big box that was obviously a typewriter. Couldn’t...

Posted by Cambridge Typewriter Co., Inc. on Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Tom Hanks has been a typewriter buff for decades and has a huge collection of the semi-extinct writing machines.

"He loves typewriters just as much as I do," Furrier said.

Hanks has so many, he's begun farming them out to local typewriter hounds like Furrier, who has run the cramped repair shop in Arlington for almost four decades.

"My whole thing is, I want these typewriters to get used," Furrier said.

Which is exactly what Hanks wants, to introduce keyboard generations to the tactile pleasure of the typewriter, bells and all.

"They've grown up with digital everything, and they come in and they try this and they flip out," Furrier said.

But it's the stories that come with each machine that Furrier so loves.

"We get cool stories, cool machines, cool customers, but this one takes the cake," Furrier said.

As for the fate of the vintage piece from Tom Hanks, Furrier said, "I'm going to keep it initially, I'm going to recondition it, make it like new again, and then I'm going to give it away."

He is going to sell it actually, to make a few bucks and possibly inspire a youngster to go "old school".

Hanks is giving a commencement speech at nearby Harvard in May.

"I would love if he came and visited some time," Furrier said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.